Bloggers defeat Nikki Haley and The State Newspaper

Today, having dropped the ball massively by spiking the story initially, The State finally released the story about Nikki Haley’s daughter being given a job under her mother’s control.

I cannot take full credit for this, not with Will Folks and Logan Smith doing admirable jobs covering the story as well, and not with people on Facebook, Freethoughtblogs, and Reddit being the ones who kept the story alive and sent people to my website.  You guys are incredible, way to use the net for good and awesome.

At least 20,000 people were informed from my site alone of The State choosing to unpublish a story because Governor Nikki Haley asked them to.  This doesn’t include all the people who saw the headline and never clicked the link, which I’m sure is a huge number as well. The state treasurer’s office got in touch with me just to reach out and say they saw the post. Just a hey, how’s it going, saw your post, we’re cool.

What does The State have to say?

A draft of this article — identified as not ready for publication — improperly was published last week on websites in Rock Hill and Charlotte, and in the printed edition of the Rock Hill newspaper. Rock Hill and Charlotte are “sister” publications to The State, operating inside a common computer system that allows each to see what the other is writing. At the time, the article was being held so The State could pursue answers to additional questions.

Weirdly enough, the last info they seem to have gotten is from a full week ago. Oh well, better late than never, right?

The good thing is that I’m not a gloater. Because if one was to gloat, I’d have to be all BAM, take that jerks!  What’s up now?  Yeah!

Nikki Haley censors The State Newspaper

Nikki Haley got her 14-year-old daughter a job working for the state — a thirty hour a week job that is paid for with taxpayer money.  The State Newspaper and Charlotte Observer reported this online and the governor’s office immediately made them take the story down.  Did you know that the governor could do that?

There are some, including Nikki Haley herself, who say that the children of politicians should be off-limits.  There are others who say that Nikki Haley has gotten her husband a $65,000 state job with benefits, her brother-in-law a state job at MUSC, and her chief-of-staff’s wife a $50,000 part-time state job and her forcing others to hire her family should be the subject of scrutiny. Or at least, these reporters thought it was news until they got a phone call telling them to get rid of it.  According to the Free Times:

Both papers apparently published the story before getting the memo that it had been spiked. That’s a news industry term for when a reporter’s story is killed by editors or publishers, and can sometimes come from a politician, corporation or outside entity putting pressure on a news organization to yank a piece it is planning to run.

The governor contacted officials at The State and the paper apparently agreed to kill it, but the story was still in McClatchy’s system, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. McClatchy owns The State and cross-publishes stories that appear in the Capital City daily in other out-of-town content-sharing papers.

The story was up long enough for others to see the story and see that it had been taken down.  Which led to this bit of Sarah Palin-esque hysteria from the governor, who wants to turn it into a story of the Mama Grizzly whose children have been attacked by reporters trying to figure out if Governor Haley, not her daughter, has broken any laws.

Scrutiny of me comes with the territory of being governor. I expect it. But it’s a sad day for journalism in South Carolina when The State newspaper goes after my 14 year old daughter. Public officials have a right to expect that their minor children are off limits from political opponents and even from biased media outlets like The State. Its disgusting. Shame on them.

There were some gems in the comments section though.

Wondering if the 300+ posters above actually read the article or can comprehend it??
It wasn’t about the daughter… it was about the daughter getting a job at a store run by a cabinet under DIRECT control of the Gov… No job openings were posted.. People took a cut in hours to accommodate the new employees hours…
Its about a total abuse of power by Gov. Nikki. Jeremy Mitchum

I’m glad to see Nikky Haley has found her FOURTEEN year old daughter a 30 hour a week job that is payed for with taxpayer money. With all the tax payer money Haley seems to wanna save, cutting important programs such as ones to help people with aids and ones for rape survivors (that’s a “distraction”) it seems she wouldn’t make taxpayers pay her daughters paychecks. Jimmy Dowling

I do not understand this article as an attack on your daughter. It’s an attack against you and the way you have used your office to impose nepotism on various agencies, which when I worked for the state was definitively spelled out as a big NO-NO. Shame on you again Gov Haley for using an old political trick for twisting words to lend sympathy to your out of bounds actions. BTW, you are the politician screaming ‘foul’ and trying to make your own child the object of scorn here. Shame on you again. Pat Lee-Bosworth

You got your daughter a state job and expected no backlash? That’s like calling Papa John’s not not expecting a pizza. Vic Scaricamazza

Is it a story? Not a big one in the scheme of things, less of a story than the 10% unemployment rate in the state, less of a story than Nikki Haley vetoing important spending.  But it’s also part of those stories.  And part of a new story, the story of how the governor of South Carolina controls the media a little more than I am comfortable with.  Remember, even though the Republican governor can control what the paper publishes, the mainstream media is controlled by liberals.

UPDATE: 7/26 The State has re-released the story, thanks for putting pressure on her internet!

Senate to Nikki Haley: Get off Facebook and do your fucking job

SC Senate votes to override Gov. Haley’s veto of rape crisis center funding. Bright, Bryant vote no

If you’d like to contact the two assholes who voted to hurt rape victims, here is their contact information, taken from the senate website:

Senator Lee Bright

Senator Lee Bright

Business Phone (803) 212-6108

Home Phone (864) 576-6742

Business Phone (864) 587-1800

Send message to Senator Bright

Senator Kevin L. Bryant

Senator Kevin L. Bryant

Business Phone (803) 212-6024

Cell Phone (864) 202-8394

Send message to Senator Bryant

And here’s Nikki Haley’s Facebook message that earned her such censure:
veto of SC Coalition of Domestic Violence $453,680. Special interests made their way into the DHEC budget. This is not about the merit of their fights but the back door way of getting the money. It’s wrong and another loophole for legislators and special interests to use.
If there’s a veto message that needs to be overridden, it is THIS one! ~Senator Knotts

If there are people in this state that need assistance, it’s the victims of rape and sexual assault. It’s money well spent. ~Senator Knotts

You need to spend a little less time on Facebook, and a little more time being a stateswoman.” – Senator Lourie

“Governor Haley had the audacity to call victims a special interest group. I am embarassed.” Senator Joel Lourie

How do you go about getting a recall process created?

Joel Lourie kicking Nikki Haley’s ass

Arts Commission Veto Overridden by House and Senate

29-10

Thank you all for calling, e-mailing, and sharing the post! I seem to have gotten something in my eyes, immensely grateful to all of you.

Will update on further arts votes and the rape crisis center votes as well, but I don’t have time to liveblog today.

UPDATE:

29-12

Art grant money survives as well.

Liveblog: Haley vetoes in the house

The house is voting today on the Haley vetoes.  The senate will vote tomorrow.  You can watch here: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/video/videopage.php?chamber=H

List of vetoes here: http://www.thestate.com/2012/07/07/2344499/haley-issues-budget-vetoes.html#storylink=misearch

Veto 1: Destroy the Arts Commission – Override 110-5 (FUCK YEAH)

Veto 2: Destroy EPSCOR Funding (Research at Universities) – Sustain 70-45

Veto 3: Destroy Sea Grant Consortium (Research at Universities) – Override 110-10

Veto 4: Remove Funding Writing Improvement Network (Education Funding) – Override 93-22

Veto 5: Remove Funding SC Geographic Alliance at USC – Override 87-24

Veto 6: Remove Certificate of Need (Healthcare program) – Override 106-6

Veto 7: Don’t Increase Teacher Salary – Override 113-1

Veto 8: Remove Funding Governor’s School for Math & Science - Override 109-3

Veto 9: Remove Mental Health Maintenance Funding – Sustain 34-76 (the department actually requested they sustain this)

Veto 10: Remove Fund Senate Committee on Children – Sustain 58-53

Veto 11: Remove Fund Education Oversight Committee – Override 80-34

Veto 12: Remove Funding to Electronically File Judicial Department stuff – Override 108-6

Veto 13: Prevent stimulus funding spending – Sustain 9-105 (All the money’s been spent anyway lol)

Veto 14: Something about ETC that was meant to be deleted anyway – Sustain 0-109

Veto 15: Something already taken care of – Sustain 105-0

Veto 16: Prevent competitive bidding for school bus repair - Sustain 60-54

Veto 17: Remove funding from two bus maintenance facilities – Sustain 61-51

Veto 18: Prevent Expanded Education Committee Power – Sustain 74-39

Veto 19: Prevent Admissions Taxes Funds to go to State Museum – Sustain 54-57

Veto 20: Prevent Spreading of Unemployment over Previous Employers – Sustain 32-75

Veto 21: Prevent Funding New Arts Commission Grants – Override 89-25

Veto 22: Prevent Funding of County Vital Records – Override 88-26

Veto 23: Prevent Change in Lake Authority (?) – Sustain 0-102 (it’s already in law or something)

Veto 24: Prevent Funding Equipment – Sustain 0-111 (Department says they don’t need it)

Veto 25: Prevent Funding DMV Training – Sustain 8-93 (Department says they don’t need it)

Veto 26: Prevent Funding Irmo Veteran Park – Sustain 26-74

Veto 27: Prevent Funding Patriot Park – Sustain 43-68

Veto 28: Prevent Funding Advertising Southeastern Wildlife Expo – Override 89-23

Veto 29: Prevent Local DoT Funding – Sustain  0-109 (Found different source of funding)

Veto 30: Fund Anderson Firestation – Sustain 45-67

Veto 31: Prevent Funding North Myrtle Beach Museum – Sustain 34-77

Veto 32: Prevent Funding Charleston African-American Historical Sites Preservation – Sustain 63-50

Veto 33: Prevent Hilton Head Land Buying Funding – Sustain 49-62

Veto 34: Prevent Funding Watershed Project (Flooding in Darlington) – Override 79-32

Veto 35: Prevent Funding Lake Maintenance on State Lake – Override 78-32

Veto 36: Prevent Funding Center for Fathers and Families (Program prevents sending men to prison over child support, saves massive money for the state, Nikki Haley is an idiot) – Sustain 64-50 (Everyone is an idiot)

Veto 37: Prevent Funding Department of Disabilities – Override 105-0

Veto 38: Prevent Funding Housing for Humanity – Sustain (Don’t have count)

Veto 39: Prevent Funding DSS Women in Unity – Override 70-34

Veto 40: Prevent Funding DSS Tri-City Outreach – Sustain 52-52

Veto 41: Prevent Funding DSS Center for Children – Sustain 45-55

Veto 42: Prevent Funding DSS Center for Community Care – Sustain 33-74

Veto 43: Prevent Funding DSS After School Care – Sustain 37-72

Veto 44: Prevent Funding for Tech Colleges – Override 81-24

Veto 45: Prevent Funding for University of Greenville Technology Center – Sustain 20-89 (Univ said it was fine to sustain)

Veto 46: Prevent Funding Clemson Plant Tech Lab – Override 96-11

Veto 47: Prevent Funding Clemson Operating – Override 89-14

Veto 48: Prevent Funding University of Charleston Tech Project – Override 77-28

Veto 49: Prevent Funding Increase SC Manufacturers Extension Program – Sustain 45-64

Veto 50: Prevent Funding AIDS Drug Assistance – Override 88-22

Veto 51: Prevent Funding SC Coalition against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault – Override 111-0 (FUCK YOU NIKKI HALEY)

Veto 52: Prevent Funding Kidney Evacuation Program – Override 92-13

Veto 53: Prevent Funding Hemophilia Assistance – Override 107-1

Veto 54: Prevent Funding Rural Benefit Bank – Sustain 41-67

Veto 55: Prevent Funding Sickle Cell Foundation – Override 107-0

Veto 56: Prevent Funding Head Lice Program – Sustain 28-78 (Apparently DHEC wants it sustained)

Veto 57: Prevent Funding Secretary of State Tech Update – Sustain 42-66

Veto 58: Prevent Funding Dept of Natural Resources Tech Updates – Override 93-16

Veto 59: Prevent Funding Indigent Defense Tech Updates – Override 77-29

Veto 60: Prevent Funding School Tech Updates – Override 82-24

Veto 61: Prevent Funding Rural Infrastructure – Sustain 70-37 (this is apparently a surprise)

Veto 62: Prevent Funding Vocational Rehab – Override 108-0

Veto 63: Prevent Funding Window Replacement – Override 86-24

Veto 64: Prevent Funding Audit – Override 78-32

Veto 65: Prevent Funding Dept of Agriculture Marketing – Override 93-17

Veto 66: Prevent Funding Dept of Agriculture Marketing – Override 76-33

Veto 67: Prevent National Mortgage Settlement  – Override 75-34 (spent like 9 million years arguing about this UGH)

Veto 68: Prevent School Improvement Council – Override 93-12

Veto 69: Prevent Funding School Improvement Council – Sustain 66-46

Veto 70: Prevent Funding Governor’s School of Arts & Humanities – Override 97-8

Veto 71: Prevent EOC Efficiency Review – Override 76-33

Veto 72: Prevent Review of Pilot Project – Override 77-32

Veto 73: Something about ports that Haley thinks will hurt Jasper – Override 110-0

Veto 74: Something about ports that Haley thinks will hurt Jasper – Override 110-1

Watch me argue with a bunch of punks: with drinking game

FtB did another video podcast, if that’s what they’re called, in which we talked about education.  If you’d like to see me all huffy about education being a social justice issue (WHICH IT IS) feel free to skip forward to 1:04:45.

Drink every time Chris Rodda says David Barton
Drink every time PZ mocks JT for video games
Drink every time JT and I start laughing apparently unrelated to anything happening in the conversation
Drink every time Nikki Haley is a horrible person

PS: EDUCATION IS A SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUE

Nikki Haley also vetoed funding to help rape victims

Nikki Haley looks like Human Ursula, enough said

I know, you’re all probably sick of hearing about how horrible my governor is.  In defense of my homestate, we didn’t *all* vote for her and her approval rating is not great, though depressingly high all things considered.

I wrote about the Arts Commission and many of you wrote on my behalf, for which I am immensely grateful.  This other issue, the one of defunding rape crisis centers is less personal to me, but even crueler to people of South Carolina.  Of course, Nikki Haley is the same woman who said, “Women don’t care about contraception”, so perhaps it is unreasonable to be surprised that she is saying that helping victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse is a distraction from *real* health issues.

The good news is that we’re only seventh in the country for women being killed by men!  There are states worse than us!

The SCCADVASA has a statement that’s worth reading, which includes the following info:

The $453,956 that the Governor vetoed will result in a 37% decrease in funding for rape crisis centers.  In FY 11-12, the total amount distributed to rape crisis centers was $648,114, which included both recurring and non-recurring funds.  If the veto stands, the total amount available for programs serving the entire state will be only he recurring $403,956.

They also have a letter from a survivor, one that I cannot read without crying:

The man has yet to be caught, but when he is caught, I KNOW I can call the rape crisis center and they will be with me as I identify him. They will be with me as they prosecute him. That gives me COMFORT. Comfort KNOWING that these individuals witness the pain of women EVERYDAY who are raped. The comfort that they are out there HELPING individuals gain back SOME of their normal life. They help women become survivor, not victims as best they can.

I did NOT choose to be raped that night. I was ASLEEP in MY HOME, yet you are cutting a budget for people that did NOTHING WRONG!!!!! They did NOT choose this pain, they were forced upon with this pain. HOW CAN YOU TAKE WHAT HELP, COMFORT, SUPPORT they have????? How can you take that away from them, from me, for a mother and father’s daughter?????

Here are the contact links again if you want to tell the legislature to override:

All the Senators: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=SMEMBERS

All the House Members: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=HMEMBERS

The good news is that Nikki Haley is making lots of people hate her.  Ms. covered the story and we’ve gotten delightful articles, including one that names her TART of the year — TART being the “Taxes Are Rape Too” group.  Many of the people who have contacted the legislature have gotten positive responses, so there is hope.

Help me save South Carolina, the arts, and my mom

Over the weekend, the governor, Nikki Haley, destroyed the South Carolina Commission for the Arts — the cut was such that the 20 people who work there cannot show up to work today, can’t even go into their building, because of liability issues.  The arts in South Carolina brings in $9.2 billion and creates 78,000 jobs at a cost of 1.9 million to the Arts Commission.  It’s a phenomenally stupid cut — our state has one of the two best arts in education programs in the country!  We don’t do a lot well in South Carolina, but this is one of the few we really do.  And now we’re about to be the only state in the country without a public arts agency.

This is political, but I have to let you know it’s deeply personal as well.  I have worked for the Commission, I know everyone who works there, the arts and arts education are extremely important to me, and my mother is the president of the foundation board.  My mother has worked with them for over half of my life — for 15 years she has been on their board and this is her third year as president. Nikki Haley is messing with my mother — that is NOT COOL.

There is good news!  The SC legislature is returning next week to vote on it — the problem is that it is summer vacation and they may not all show.  They also may not get the 2/3rds majority needed to overturn the vetoes.  I need your help.  My mom needs your help.  My state, which is run by idiots but full of wonderful people, needs your help.

Please contact the SC Representatives and Senators and urge them to vote to override Vetoes #1 and #21 – to keep the doors open at the Arts Commission!  Also, let them know that the rest of the vetoes are pretty crappy too — taking money from teachers, schools, important scientific research, and programs to help victims of sexual violence.

Here’s a single contact form to get in touch with:

All the Senators: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=SMEMBERS

All the House Members: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=HMEMBERS

I know many of you aren’t from my state, but I think FtB has the power and this movement has the power to put some pressure on these people, and if you’re from South Carolina, you must do this!  Tell them to show up!  Tell them to override the vetoes!  Help my mom!

Ken May, Executive Director, “The state can’t wrest my cellphone from my grip”

EDIT: Passing the need on and sharing is something that you can do to help even if you don’t contact the politicians, please share. And it is on reddit.http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comments/w9og0/help_me_save_south_carolina_the_arts_and_my_mom/

Hey Girls: You Deserve Cancer, you sluts!

I live in a state that is often accused of being the worst.  We have a saying in South Carolina: “Thank God for Mississippi!”  When it comes to diseases and listening to the religious right being absolutely beyond stupid, we are pretty close to the bottom.

There is a wonderful vaccine that prevents several kinds of cancer, including almost all cervical cancer, anal cancer, and other cancers as well.  The vaccine also reduces the risk of fertility problems!  The problem is that the vaccine prevents HPV, something people can get through sex.  It should be noted, however, that this is NOT the only way people get HPV.  The thing is, getting HPV from a non-human object can actually happen.  In that study, over half of the virgins tested had HPV.

And it’s frustrating that I should even have to make that point.  Sex is good, sex is healthy, sex is natural, sex should be accepted as an important part of the human condition.  But you don’t have to be a raging slut/whore/liberal to get HPV.

Which is why it is especially tragic that, in a state with incredibly high cervical cancer rates (9th in deaths in the nation, three times higher in African American women), less than 20% of eligible women are getting this vaccine.  I am sure the number is even lower for eligible young men.  Why? Because we won’t enact a mandate like we have for other vaccines.  And, just last week, the house would not overrule a veto from our evil governor, Nikki Haley, that prevents schools from getting funding to provide information on the vaccine.  Not to force anyone to have it, but to tell people it exists.

Nikki Haley: It’s better for people to die than for parents to possibly have to discuss sex with their children.

Also, if you are under 26, male or female, you should get the Gardasil vaccine.  For yourself and for others.

GARDASIL is the only human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine that helps protect against 4 types of HPV. In girls and young women ages 9 to 26, GARDASIL helps protect against 2 types of HPV that cause about 75% of cervical cancer cases, and 2 more types that cause 90% of genital warts cases. In boys and young men ages 9 to 26, GARDASIL helps protect against 90% of genital warts cases.

GARDASIL also helps protect girls and young women ages 9 to 26 against 70% of vaginal cancer cases and up to 50% of vulvar cancer cases.

Since I’ve had mine, does that mean I’m contractually obligated to be a slut/whore/liberal now?

Here are some sobering statistics given in the hopes of scaring people into getting the jab.

SATURDAY: I’m Speaking Against the War on Women

The following is from the press release from the SC part of the Unite Against the War on Women.  I will be speaking at the State House on Saturday, at some point between 11:30AM and 1PM.  If you are in South Carolina, please come, if you are elsewhere, please find your local event and participate.  It seems the white male Christian establishment is determined to take away women’s control of their own bodies, women and men need to stand up for rights that we shouldn’t have to fight for in the first place.

The religious right shouldn’t be imposing their version of sharia on my body.

South Carolina Answers the CALL TO ACTION: UniteWomen.org Rally at Statehouse 4/28

A rapidly growing movement called UniteWomen.org is poised to push back on legislative efforts to erode women’s access to equal pay, reproductive healthcare, and protection from violence, with protest marches and rallies across the country on Saturday, April 28. The SC Rally will be held on the Statehouse grounds, Gervais Street side, from 11:30-1:00, with live music beginning at 11:00. This action is joined by 55 concurrent events planned nationwide and includes many high profile state and national leaders – a historic event that South Carolinians are proud to join and support.

The newly-minted organization has garnered more than 21,000 members nationally in less than two months, demonstrating the tremendous political will and commitment across the country to fight back against attempts to turn back the clock on women’s rights.

In addition to the April 28 actions, UniteWomen.org is also looking long-term to future actions and activity for the group. “We will not suffer the burdens of those whose ambitions would be fulfilled by the destruction of the human worth of mothers, sisters and daughters of this great nation,” founder Karen Teegarden said.

This all hits close to home for South Carolinians. Governor Nikki Haley has made the inaccurate statement that “Women don’t care about contraception.” This is actually of great concern for our state, where 3 out of 10 women will become pregnant by the age of twenty and 58 percent of all pregnancies are unintentional. Unintended pregnancies have a huge economic impact on our state. Births to teen mothers alone cost South Carolina taxpayers $197 million annually.

In addition:

 Nearly half of new sexually transmitted diseases in SC are diagnosed in young people age 15 to 24. South Carolina is also considered an HIV “Hot Spot”, with the 8th highest AIDS rate in the U.S., and 1 out of 5 new AIDS cases here are in people age 25 and under, with minority women especially at risk.

Yet despite all of these grim statistics, legislative support remains for abstinence-only sex education, an obvious disservice to our communities. To make matters worse, for 6 out of 10 women of all ages in the state, family planning clinics are their only source of healthcare, yet the clinics remain a target for budget cuts and legislative restrictions.

The time is right for such an event to stem the rising tide against women’s rights. SC Rally Organizer, Chris Cherry, has only just taken the reins of the South Carolina event and found tremendous enthusiasm in the community. In addition to support from volunteer organizations all over the state, many community leaders are stepping forward to join in the fight to protect the civil liberties of South Carolina women. Pioneers of the women’s rights movement in the 1970’s have answered the call toaction and will be speaking at this rally. “This is a fight that we thought was already won,” Chris said, “and now it is more evident than ever that we have to be firm in our resolve to secure those protections for American women.”

Chris has appeared on Progressive Talk Radio 1230 with Frank Knapp and the Power Hour Call-in show to discuss the upcoming rally. She’s participating in a round table on the War on Women and women’s rights issues on Thursday April 19th at 1:00pm PST/ 4:00pm EST with Steve Gelder of New Dissident Radio (http://www.newdissidentradio.com/ listen live or podcast). Chris will have a follow-up interview with Frank and making announcements regarding special guests and speakers for the Rally on Thursday, April 26th at 5:44 pm. Contact her directly to book speaking engagements or for quotes.

A full list of national endorsements and national media coverage can be found at UniteWomen.org.